England: Shepherds Pie

English and British food is not really very different from food we eat regularly in South Africa – pub grub, fish and chips, cream jam scones, bacon and eggs, yorkshire pudding, steak pies, Christmas pudding, sticky toffee pudding, mince pies and trifle (I’m not saying I personally eat or like these things, but they’re very commonly eaten in South Africa).

When scouting for a recipe to make, and looking at the originally English list of dishes, I was struck by the somewhat, um, bizarre names for some of the items (possibly very un-PC nowadays or just a bit rude): Spotted Dick, Knickerbocker Glory, Fool, Faggots (I mean, seriously!?), and Black Pudding (which is not a pudding at all but congealed blood! Ugh).

There were two meals that used to appeal to me purely because of their name – Bangers and Mash and Bubble and Squeak. When I was in Grade 1 and 2 we had books at school by those names. Bangers and Mash was about 2 chimpanzees called Bangers and Mash. The books revolved around all the mischief they would get up to. Bubble and Squeak was about two little mice named, you guessed it, Bubble and Squeak.

When we were younger my mom used to make cottage pie. I wasn’t really a fan of mince and don’t remember particularly enjoying it (sorry Mom – it’s not you, it was the mince). So I actually cannot remember when I last ate it – probably on some school trip where I ate one mouthful (while picking out the onions and carrots), then cried (because I didn’t like the food but also because I was homesick), and then ate toast or something else that was on offer. I therefore couldn’t really remember what it tasted like, and decided that now that I’ve grown up, and I’ve become more open to other food, that I’d give it a try.

I chose to make a healthier low-carb version though, using cauliflower mash instead. The recipe I used can be found here and I didn’t deviate much from the recipe. The only thing I did differently, which was accidental, is that I added the cheese to the mash, instead of adding it on top of the pie before baking it. I served it with a Chilean Salad, which can be read about on the Chile post.

It was flippen delicious though. I was really chuffed with the outcome, and with the cauli mash – you hardly know the difference. Dean was optimistic and had lots to start with, and seconds. Paula also seemed to enjoy it – so positivity all round! I will definitely make this again – although maybe not on what was possibly the hottest day of 2016! Also, I plan to make English Toffee next…standby!

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